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Diocesan Resolution 2011-02: Anti-Racism Resolution

RESOLVED, this 137th Convention of the Diocese of Newark affirms Canon 2, section 6, which provides that all persons seeking election or appointment to serve on diocesan or district offices, diocesan commissions, committees or boards must first complete anti-racism dialogues training; and be it further

RESOLVED, that this 137th Convention of the Diocese of Newark affirms the importance of conducting anti-racism dialogue within the context of our lives as Episcopalians as an ongoing part of deepening our spirituality and our relationship with God and with one another and therefore encourages congregations to participate in anti-racism dialogues within their own congregation and in conjunction with other congregations, particularly those where the ethnic, racial, or economic diversity may be different from one another; and be it further

RESOLVED, that it is the policy of the Diocese of Newark that all clergy must complete anti-racism dialogues training within six months of their appointment or licensing as clergy in the diocese or present official documentation that they have successfully completed similar training in an Episcopal Church-sponsored anti-racism training program within the three years prior to obtaining status in this diocese; and be it further

RESOLVED, that all persons seeking ordination in this diocese or transferring to this diocese as a postulant or candidate must complete anti-racism dialogues training within six months of their designation as a postulant or, in the case of those transferring, within six months of the acceptance of their transfer into this diocese; and be it further

RESOLVED, that this 137th Convention of the Diocese of Newark establishes that all persons required to complete anti-racism dialogue training must update their certification by completing, at  a minimum, an additional 5 hours of Continuing Anti-Racism Education (CARE) every five years; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the Diocesan body responsible for overseeing anti-racism dialogues submit to the 138th Annual Convention of the Diocese of Newark a list of measurable criteria by which the effectiveness of the anti-racism dialogues and training may be evaluated and enhanced.


The diocesan requirement for anti-racism training embodies both the spirit and letter of past and present General Convention resolutions and diocesan canons (see below). The work of providing anti- racism dialogue and of assuring compliance with national church and diocesan mandates is undertaken by Namaste* (formerly, the Mission to Dismantle Racism & Reparations Task Force).

The intent of the dialogues is to create a safe place where sharing and examination of experiences and attitudes can ultimately prove to be transformative of people’s spirits, hearts and minds, and by extension, of their daily life and work. Participation in this transformative experience requires a commitment of our time, not simply for the dialogue itself, but also as a commitment to life-long learning and growth. Recognizing the importance of this work, Namaste adopted the Executive Council’s policy which has established fourteen (14) hours as the minimum length of time for anti-racism dialogue.

Our diocesan canons mandate that all persons seeking election to diocesan or district office, diocesan commission, committee, or board must first complete “anti-racism training”. Current diocesan policy requires all clergy and those seeking ordination to likewise participate in Episcopal Church-sponsored anti-racism dialogue. This dialogue, however, is not limited to those seeking office and all congregants are encouraged to participate. 

While the diocese will recognize recent dialogue certifications obtained in other dioceses, secular diversity or anti-racism trainings given by outside organizations will not be accepted in satisfaction of the diocesan requirement. It is important to recognize the necessity of conducting such dialogues in the context of our lives as Episcopalians. The vast variety and scope of secular anti-racism trainings rarely includes an exploration of anti-racism from a spiritual and specifically Christian perspective. 

Understanding the dynamics of racism, recognizing the consequences of racism for everyone, and discovering strategic ways to dismantle racism is central to our mission of living into “the hope and justice of Jesus”. If members of our diocese are to truly “engage the world”, it must be with a profound awareness and respect for our “sameness” and our differences, and the necessity of celebrating both.

Submitted by:  Namaste (The Rev. Dr. Allison Moore; The Rev. Joseph A. Harmon; Ms. Kitty Kawecki; The Rev. Canon Dr. Sandye Wilson; The Rev. Willie Smith; The Very Rev. Susan Keller; The Rev. Canon Gregory Jacobs; The Rev. Rosa Brown Autry)


General Convention Resolution A142 (2009)

Resolved, That all dioceses and provinces receive anti-racism training if they have not already done so or renew training that has been previously taken; and be it further

Resolved, That dioceses and provinces develop programs and ministries to dismantle and eradicate structures of racism, both internally and externally, and integrate the practices of anti-racism in to their ongoing life…

2006 Committee on Anti-Racism, Report to 76th Convention:

The Executive Council passed an important resolution that set, as the minimum length of time for anti-racism training, fourteen (14) hours. This ensures that anti-racism workshop participants will have time to progress from awareness of racism to full engagement with anti-oppression principles so that they may become knowledgeable agents of change.

Canon 2, Diocese of Newark – Voting and Elections

6. No person shall be eligible for election to any office at Convention, nor shall any person elected by Districts, or appointed to serve on Diocesan Council or other Diocesan Standing Committees, Commissions or Boards accede to that office, unless that person shall have first completed or arranged for the completion of anti-racism training as approved by the Bishop after consultation with the Mission to Dismantle Racism.

*  "Namaste" is a Hindi word derived from two Sanskrit words that, combined, generally mean "I bow to you."  It is often used as a salutation in yoga classes between instructor and students and carries the meaning of honoring one another in the work that we do together.  In 2009 Namaste began referring to anti-racism "dialogues" instead of anti-racism "training" because Namaste believes the concept of dialogue better conveys our Diocesan experience: while we do need training about anti-racism practices, the predominate modality of that training comes through the rich and varied dialogues that groups participating in this work have experienced over the years.

Resource Date: 
Feb 2, 2011